The prosecution finishes calling witnesses to the stand in the Paul Novak murder trial. Novak is accused of strangling his wife, Catherine, in 2008 and setting their Narrowsburg home on fire to cover up the crime. Several witnesses took the stand Thursday. Our Eva McKend has the latest courtroom developments.
MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- For five weeks, the prosecution has had the opportunity to make their case. Their star witnesses have testified. Their hope is the remaining witnesses that testified Thursday will help fill the holes left by the people that claim Paul Novak murdered his wife.
Wal-Mart's asset protection manager, transportation officials and several insurance claim examiners. They aren't the prosecution's key witnesses, but they together help move forward the story line presented by Scott Sherwood, Elise Hanlon and Michelle LaFrance.
Wal-Mart's Jennifer Fitzpatrick verified a receipt the prosecution believes places Novak at the Middletown Wal-Mart buying items on the morning he's accused of strangling Catherine Novak.
Sherwood, Novak's confessed accomplice, claims he and Novak stopped at a big box store in route to Narrowsburg.
A cash purchase for tape, gloves and a hat was made at 1:35 a.m. on Dec 13, 2008. Novak is accused of strangling his estranged wife later that morning and setting their Narrowsburg home on fire to cover up the crime.
But Fitzpatrick, nor the State Police investigator she worked with, could say with certainty who made those purchases.
An insurance expert from State Farm says Novak received more than $300,000 after Catherine died. New York Life insurance says he received almost $200,000.
The defense argued these payments were all made when Catherine's death was officially ruled accidental, therefore making Novak entitled to that money.
The most difficult testimony for the defense came when Novak's former colleague, a fellow Jamaica Hospital paramedic, took the stand. His comments are the same as the ones paramedic Donald Medley says he overheard Novak make at one point in the break room.
The defense established neither man came forward to police in 2008 after they learned Novak's wife died.
"He turned to me and said, do you know how to commit the perfect crime," said Wilbert Gonzalez on the stand.
"After a couple seconds, I saw that he wasn't telling me the answer and I said how? He said fire. You get rid of all of the evidence," added Gonzalez.
The prosecution will rest their case Friday, allowing the defense to start calling their witnesses.